TEA, the state agency that provides leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all Texas students, granted the endorsement after a thorough review to assure Monarch Academy meets state standards in areas such as health and safety, teacher certification and curriculum, to name a few.
“We view this TEA approval as a significant stride forward in our relatively young history,” said Anne Bristol, Monarch Academy’s head of school. “This gives further credence to our school’s overriding objective – providing our students with a blend of academic, life skills and vocational instruction to help each one reach his or her maximum individual potential.”
Founded by philanthropists Gordon and Maggie Hartman in 2011, non-profit Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland focuses on preparing students with special needs for life and work. The school at 5235 David Edwards Drive next to the unique theme park welcomes students ranging in age from 12 to 24.
Bristol said many of the students taking advantage of Monarch Academy’s new non-public school status will enter the Bridge Program, which equips older students with marketable skills that can lead to gainful employment after they graduate.
As part of the Bridge Program, Monarch Academy recently opened the Monarch Business Center, thanks to a generous donation of reprographics equipment from DOCUmation. It’s the first of several job centers planned by Monarch Academy so Bridge Program students will be able to produce retail products to sell and simultaneously learn real-world business practices. This will also generate revenue to help expand the Bridge Program, Bristol noted.
Monarch Academy students already acquire on-the-job experience by working at Morgan’s Wonderland and nearby Toyota Field, home of the San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team.